Diary of 43 Days of School Holidays: Part II

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Day Eighteen

The big drive today from Surrey to Cornwall for a week’s holiday. It should have taken about four hours but took seven and a half instead. However, we had plenty of food, Matt had downloaded some of the childrens’ favourite programmes (which they watched on the Mac which was wedged between the front seats) and we played many rounds of a great game called Are We There Yet?, which I much preferred to I Spy. I have to say they were very good and it could have been a lot worse. Amazingly no arguments or tantrums!

Lolly pit stop

Lolly pit stop

When we arrived at the property, which we’d found quite late on, on airbnb, it had been worth the long drive. The view was stunning.

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We sorted ourselves out and chose rooms. The house is in Widemouth Bay and is literally a five minute walk to the beach. We were already on holiday time as it was 7pm, which is approaching usual bedtime, and we were just heading out for a beach walk. We had a bit of a makeshift tea after a lovely walk.

Red wine, cheese, pate, bread and Scrabble for Matt and I once they were in bed.

Ice creams: 0  Ice lollies: 4 (including mine)  Minor bickerings: 0  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0 

Day Nineteen

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The weather didn’t look great. After a leisurely start we took a drive across the border into Devon (where Matt’s brother lives) and to the lovely Hartland Quay. After going down to the quay, doing a bit of stone skimming and getting a soaking we met him and other family for a big Sunday roast.

After that we headed out to Northam Burrows Country Park  near Westwood Ho! There’s a small toll to pay and then you take the road through grassland towards the beach. We encountered lots of sheep and horses (who got up very close and personal) and a few golfers before getting to the car park.

This close to the car!

This close to the car!

 

Then it was buckets and spades, boule set and football out and onto the beach. The weather had cheered up a bit. We all went for a paddle and the girls loved running away from the encroaching water and generally getting pretty wet again. We played a lot of games and spent several very nice hours on a rather windy beach.

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Ice creams: 3  Ice lollies: 0  Minor bickerings: 1  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 2

Day Twenty 

It was absolutely hammering it down in the morning, but we headed out in any case with the first port of call being an early lunch at the St. Kew Inn in St. Kew. We had a really lovely meal, which was very fish and shellfish heavy and by the time we came out it was stunning.

Before...

Before…

and after

and after

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a look around the local church and then picked up some lobsters and crabs for dinner from nearby The Crab Shack. After that we headed to the beautiful Polzeath beach via Boscastle.

Polzeath beach

Polzeath beach

Polzeath beach

Polzeath beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The surfers were out in force and by now the suncream was needed. Amazing to think the weather had changed so much. The girls had a wonderful time at the beach. Then it was back home for a family dinner for nine. The lobster and crab was fantastic.

Ice creams: 3  Ice lollies: 0  Minor bickerings: 0  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0

Day Twenty One 

We went back to near Hartland to meet up with Matt’s mum and dad who are staying near there (much better weather this time) and went to the quay. We messed about in the rock pools and used the nets we’d bought. The tide was coming in very fast, which provided its own entertainment as the girls were chased back.

Scorchio in Hartland

Scorchio in Hartland

We went into the pretty little village of Hartland itself for some lunch. Ironically I had my first Cornish pasty of the trip whilst in Devon. Then we headed back into Cornwall to Bude. We played some pitch and putt, which was a first for the girls (and the first time for me since I was about 10!) and then went to the cafe for ice creams, tea and cake 🙂

Pitch and putt was a winner

Pitch and putt was a winner

Ice creams: 3  Milk shakes: 1 Ice lollies: 0  Minor bickerings: 3  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0

Day Twenty Two

Today we want back into Devon to visit Clovelly. The village is privately owned and is completely vehicle free. It costs £6.95 per adult and children  (ages 7 to16) are £4.35;  under 7s are free. However, I reckon it’s worth it. It’s one of the most chocolate box, picturesque villages you’ll ever see.

Just before the descent into the village

Just before the descent into the village

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We walked down the very steep cobbles in blazing sunshine taking in the cute little cottages, looking in on the Fisherman’s cottage with artefacts that Sofia was particularly interested in.

Our lunch spot

Our lunch spot

We broke up the walk with a nice lunch at The Cottage Tea Rooms and then continued our walk down to the harbour and had another paddle. Then it was off to the Red Lion in the harbour for some refreshments before getting a rather exciting Land Rover ride back up (at the specific request of Matt who was nursing a beach football injury).

Down to the harbour for a paddle

Down to the harbour for a paddle

We paid a visit to the gift shops and then headed back home. Family came over for dinner, but we headed to Widemouth Bay for a bit of a run around and beach fun before eating.

Ice creams: 0  Ice lollies: 0  Minor bickerings: 2  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0

Day Twenty Three 

The day was meant to be a right off weather-wise with torrential rain forecast for the entirety. However, it stopped quite early in the morning so we seized the opportunity to go for a walk. Matt’s older brother and his family were camping at Stoke Barton Farm and Campsite in Devon, so that’s where we began our walk.

A bit breezy at St. Catherine's Tor.

A bit breezy at St. Catherine’s Tor.

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It was a lovely walk that took in plenty of farm animals, stunning coastline, wildlife and St. Catherine’s Tor, where we stopped for snacks and a photo opportunity.

We walked back and then went for lunch at the Cheristow Lavender Tea Rooms and took a look at its pretty secret garden as well as its lavender.

After that, it was back to Widemouth Bay to go and collect scallops and more lobsters for dinner before some crazy golf in Bude with the girls’ aunt, uncle and cousins.

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Finally, a lovely dinner followed by plenty of card games. Knock is Sofia’s new favourite game.

 

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Ice creams: 0  Ice lollies: 0  Minor bickerings: 0  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0

Day Twenty Four

Not a great day for outdoor activities so it was bowling en masse in Bude. The girls have only been bowling once before and absolutely loved it so were very excited to be doing it again.

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After that it was a cafe lunch in Widemouth Bay and then a walk on the beach. It was pretty blustery so I sat this expedition out and left Matt and the girls to it.

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Port Isaac

Late afternoon we went to the pretty little fishing village of Port Isaac. Sea shanty group Fisherman’s Friends (native to Port Isaac) were playing there in the evening and Matt’s family were keen to see them (as were many other people!). I was very keen to visit Port Isaac generally, so it all worked out nicely. We had some food, bought some goodies from the fudge shop, had a wonder and then had a drink at the pub before the gig. There was a really great vibe to the place and we all really enjoyed our visit. My only disappointment was that we didn’t get to eat at Nathan Outlaw’s place.

Ice creams: 0  Ice lollies: 0  Chocolate and fudge: quite a lot  Minor bickerings: 2  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0

Day Twenty Five

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We vacated our lovely holiday home and got on the road. Thankfully we weren’t doing the whole trip home; we were stopping the night at friends in Somerset for a bit of a uni reunion for Matt. We got there early afternoon and the adults partied until 3am. It was good. The hosts have three girls of similar age to ours and another friend had a mother girl. They absolutely loved it and had a trampoline, sweet and TV-fuelled party of their own until 10pm.

Ice creams: 0  Ice lollies: 0  Sweets: off the dial  Minor bickerings: 0  Arguments: 1  Small tantrums: 0

Day Twenty Six

Following a morning of playing with friends, an extremely boring day of travelling and unpacking.

Ice creams: 0  Ice lollies: 0  Minor bickerings: 2  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0

Day Twenty Seven

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Post-holiday chores done in the morning so we headed out after lunch to do a few things including buy a birthday present for one of Sofia’s friends. I let the girls go into their favourite shop (Claire’s Accessories). After a lot of deliberating Sofia treated herself to something. I hadn’t planned to, but decided to brave Clarks to see if we could get Sofia’s school shoes. To my amazement we were seen immediately and managed to make a successful purchase.

I’d bought water balloons in the toyshop earlier so they came straight out once we got back.

Ice creams: 0  Ice lollies: 0  Minor bickerings: 3  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0

Day Twenty Eight

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Today it was back to the Epsom and Leatherhead Multiples Club. Although the oldest by some way, Sofia loves it when she gets the chance to go outside of term time. This week had the additional draw of a bouncy castle. There was lots of colouring, sticking, playing and bouncing.

Afterwards, we went to Pizza Express for lunch. The chain is very accomplished at catering for kids, which is just as well as the place was rammed with them (all behaving I should point out)!

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After a hearty three courses we headed to the library. Sofia has completed five out of her six books for The Summer Reading Challenge 2015, so it was time to collect some of her stickers and also her key ring, which she was very pleased about. We also took out a load more books.

Quite a bad day for arguments though!!

Ice creams: 0  Ice lollies: 3  Minor bickerings: 1  Arguments: 4  Small tantrums: 0

Day Twenty Nine

I had to work so the girls had a few hours with our childminder. They love it so much, not least playing with her two year old. They had a picnic in the park that they were very excited to tell me about.

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After that we headed into Kingston-Upon-Thames to get school uniform from John Lewis. I really love the quality of the their stuff and Sofia’s pinafore dresses from there have lasted two years and still look like new. We’re only getting new ones now as the existing ones are getting a bit short. We were the only ones in the Back to School section and were done and dusted in a few minutes. I was expecting a nightmare.

To counter the boredom of that we paid a visit to Paperchase. The girls have certainly inherited my love of stationery. Then it was off for ice-creams – the good stuff – at Gelateria Danieli.

Ice creams: 3  Ice lollies: 0  Minor bickerings: 1  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0

Day Thirty 

Today we headed back to West Sussex and to Tilagte Park with a friend of mine and her daughter. It’s a huge park with multiple lakes, a walled garden, a nature centre, adventure playground, Go Ape and probably a lot of stuff we didn’t see.

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We started with a picnic and feeding the ducks and then it was off to the adventure playground, which they loved. Sofia was itching to get involved with Go Ape, but even if she was big enough the others weren’t. Luckily the adventure playground kept them entertained for quite some time. Afterwards we headed to the maze. They were all absolute monkeys in there; it has little child-sized holes cut into the hedges. All the kids took full advantage and kept disappearing. Fortunately they were laughing and shouting so much we were able to find them.

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After we’d had enough of chasing them around we hit the cafe for lollies and ice creams.

We finished up with a visit to the nature centre. The otters and pigs were firm favourites, but they loved feeding the goats with leaves they picked themselves. We also visited the bee hives, which we all found interesting.

IMG_5954I would definitely like to go back and probably arrive earlier as I think there was a lot more to explore.

Ice creams: 1  Ice lollies: 3  Minor bickerings: 0  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0

Day Thirty One

Today was a day to play in the garden. I’d foolishly bought a bumper back of water balloons so it was a change into swimming costumes and an hour of getting each other soaking wet.

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In the afternoon it was an impromptu playdate with the little girl next door: someone else’s toys, lots of bubbles, chalk pictures and playing with her pet rabbit and dog. They didn’t want to leave. Things are always so much more interesting at someone else’s house!

Ice creams: 0  Ice lollies: 0  Minor bickerings: 2  Arguments: 0  Small tantrums: 0



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About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on TalkMum and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.

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  1. Pingback: Diary of 43 Days of School Holidays: Part I | The Parent Social

  2. Pingback: Diary of 43 Days of School Holidays: Part III | The Parent Social

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